Do you have a hard time being vulnerable with your husband? Sharing your needs with him? Telling him your deepest fears or longings? Well, I’ve had these same thoughts too because being vulnerable and open hasn’t always been my strong suit.
Perhaps it was because when I was a little girl I had three older brothers and I had to hold my own and not let them see my weaknesses? Silently nurse the bruised arms from getting punched or the rug burns from being dragged down a hallway? Or maybe it was because I felt like I didn’t fit in with my family? They all belonged. They were all biologically related but I was adopted. I was different and I felt like an outsider in my own family. A misfit. An outcast.
As I got older and made poor choices, like live with a man and then become an atheist, I had to deal with the guilt and shame associated with these decisions. Because of this, more scars were added to my heart and eventually I became dead inside.
Vulnerability. I had no clue as to what that looked like. Transparency, well that wasn’t going to happen in my life anytime soon! I faced enough heartache, pain, and rejection to not want to stick my neck out and let someone know how I was truly feeling inside.
When I asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life, I gave Him full access to my heart, and in doing so, He nursed it back to a place where it started to beat again. The Lover of my soul patiently covered my scars with His ointment of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love- all things needed for a soul to thrive. And all things needed for a thriving marital relationship.
As God healed my heart, I later moved on to marrying my husband where I had to learn how to live out being transparent with another human being. This was not as easy, girlfriend!
Below is a method my husband and I have implemented over our 17 years of marriage. In our early years, I stumbled a great deal in being open with him, but by asking a simple question like the one below, it has done wonders for building emotional connectedness in our relationship.
The One Question Couples Should Ask Each Other Everyday
What do you need from me today?
Or try this variation…
What can I do for you today?
This simple question allows a wife to learn what her husband needs from her, after all, she is called to be his helper, (Genesis 2:18). And it allows the husband to dwell with his wife with understanding. If my man doesn’t know what’s going on inside my heart, then how does he live out his biblical command to dwell with me with understanding? Simply put, he can’t because he’s not a mind-reader.
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
Even though this verse is directed to my husband, when I close up my heart from him I’m not allowing him to be the husband that God wants him to be because I’m too afraid to let him in. It took me awhile to learn this concept in my marriage.
Quite frankly, it was emotionally safer for me to expect him to read my mind and know how I was feeling rather than to be vulnerable and tell him what was going on in my heart. This old path created a lot of misunderstandings and even more hurt feelings on my part. I knew something needed to change and that something was me.
Now, has my husband always handled my heart with the utmost of care? Nope. He’s not perfect nor do I expect him to be. Are there times when I don’t want to open up and share with him? Of course, because I’m wanting to revert back to my old ways, just like scripture says,
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. Proverbs 26:11
The one question method that I’m suggesting to you is like taking baby steps to help bring more transparency and emotional intimacy into your marriage. You’ll also discover where needs are not being met in the marriage and you’ll start to communicate better because you’re not in the midst of a heated argument. This on-going process will help you to connect and further your emotional intimacy with your spouse.
Our natural flesh tendency is to shy away from going deeper with our spouse, be it because of past hurts or disappointment, but I have learned that having a viewpoint like this will not help a marriage to flourish. And Satan, the enemy of our souls and marriage, likes it when we have this emotionally-based viewpoint.
A thriving marriage is a marriage that consists of transparency, vulnerability, acceptance, and unconditional love.
Dare to go deeper in your emotional intimacy and practice opening up to your spouse on a regular basis.
What about you? Do you have a hard time being open and vulnerable with your husband? Will you give this one question method a try today?
Are you in need of more encouragement and guidance for your marriage? I can help you here.
Live a poured out life for Christ,